May 24, 2008

Obama Plays the (Other) Race Card

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Oppose illegal immigration? In that case, you may be responsible for xenophobia and hate crimes, according to Obama:

“A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There’s a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year. If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it’s not surprising that would happen.”

So much for all of Obama’s talk to disagree agreeably.

If I understand Obama correctly, if you support enforcing our nation’s laws against illegal immigrants like Dobbs and Limbaugh, apparently you are only fueling hatred against Hispanics. I guess there must not be any legal Hispanic immigrants that support laws ensuring that all immigrants, whether Hispanic or not, also enter America legally.

Now granted, every politician makes mistakes and say things he did not mean to say. However, Obama already has said something to this effect before. Many still remember his comments describing those “bitter” small-town Americans who cling to guns and religions. Well, if you had read Obama’s comments in their entirety, you would have discovered that this “bitterness” also fuels these people’s anti-immigrant sentiment.

Also, what about those Democrats who voted against comprehensive immigration “reform”? Democrats like Senator Byrd remember the immigration reform of 1986 that never was. Have they joined the Republican hate conspiracy? I guess independents like Lou Dobbs are in on this, too.

Back when Clinton assailed Obama for failing to win white working-class voters, Obama accused her of racism. He had a good point, as although he does struggle with working-class voters, Clinton crossed the line by attaching the adjective “white” to that phrase. (On top of that, her attack would have been more effective if she had used the adjective “bitter” instead.) But just like Obama does not like it when others play the race card, he should be more careful about playing it himself.

Mike Wacker is The Sun’s Assistant Web Editor. He can be reached at mwacker@cornellsun.com.